Journals Riders

Inside the Tour of Britain: Rory Townsend’s race diary #1

Rory Townsend of Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes looks ahead to the team's big season finale

Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes’ Rory Townsend is keeping a race diary for The British Continental throughout the Tour of Britain

If we were asked to nominate the best domestic riders of the season, Rory Townsend would be one of the first names that we’d think of. The 24-year-old Irishman has had an outstanding season. If three National Road Series wins weren’t impressive enough, he also came very close to a first UCI road win, bagging 4 one-day race podiums in total.

With a very fast finish, a good set of hill-climbing legs, race guile and plenty of breakaway experience this season, he could well be a rider we see plenty of on our screens this week.

I would love to come away from the race with a jersey. That would really top off the season for me

Here are Rory’s thoughts on the eve of his second Tour of Britain…

2019 Tour de Yorkshire Stage 1 Doncaster to Selby, England – The brief, Rory Townsend. Photo: Allan McKenzie/

“Looking at the race, obviously I’m really excited to be here once again. Being up here now in Glasgow, it’s a lot more real. We got our first ride out the way earlier. Seeing all the boys and all the teams here, it’s exciting, it’s been a long time coming.

We’ve effectively been working all year to be at this race. For our team especially, this is the biggest race that we will be taking on all season.

I’m really excited to see how we are going to perfom. I think we’ve had a fantastic year domestically, we’ve really dominated. And then we’ve done a lot on the continent as well to show that we’re able to mix it with some of the bigger teams that are here at this race, for example. It will be really interesting to see.

Our real goal for this race is to go stage hunting, to try to poach a few results throughout the week

I think we are potentially one of the teams to watch in terms of animating the race. We’re not here with GC in mind. We are here with six really strong riders who, each of us in our own right, could potentially go for it on GC. But our real goal for this race is to go stage hunting, to try to poach a few results throughout the week. For me personally, I would love to come away from the race with a jersey. That would really top off the season for me.

The team itself is in pretty good shape. It’s obviously, been a long, hard season [the team started the season back in January at the Challenge Mallorca]. Andy [Tennant] came down in a crash on Sunday. And then this is Tom [Stewart]‘s first race back from a crash as well. We will have to see how those boys bounce back. Certainly Andy is very capable of rolling top tens in some of the finishes here. His experience speaks for itself. He is a real proven competitor.

Then with Tom, if you look at the course it really does suit a rider like Tom. There are going to be a lot of hard days that seem to mirror a lot of the roads that Tom is out training on. So I’m excited to see how he goes.

Ryan Christensen has had a really strong year. Alex Colman is one of the new guys on the team. He has come in and he has done a lot this year. He has improved massively throughout the season. It has been really impressive to see him develop and I’m excited to see how he goes as well in his first Tour of Britain.

2019 HSBC UK Men’s National Circuit Series – Newcastle Criterium, Newcastle upon Tyne, England – Matt Bostock (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) wins.
Photo: Alex Whitehead/

And then we have Bozza [Matt Bostock], the quick man. I am definitely interested to see how he gets on. He is really good at surfing a wheel. A race like this where you have guys like Mark Cavendish and Groenewegen of course, who have super strong teams here. It will be really interesting to see how Bozza and myself to some extent can surf those trains and work off what they bring to the race.

I think it is going to be a brilliant race to watch. The course can suit any kind of rider if someone is strong enough to take advantage of it. Obviously Van der Poel is the outstanding name. We will do our best to make him look human!”

Featured photo: Alex Whitehead/ 2019 East Cleveland Klondike GP. Rory Townsend of Canyon DHB p/b Bloor Homes celebrates the win.